In a report from UNESCO, some of the world's favorite sites are at risk of disappearing because of climate change, which includes Venice, the Statue of Liberty, the Galapagos Islands, and Stonehenge.
Researchers examined 31 World Heritage sites located in 29 countries like the Easter Island, the city of Cartagena, Columbia, Shiretoko National Park in Japan, South Africa’s Cape Floral Kingdom and others. The result was compiled on a 108-page reported titled “World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate."
The said paper is a joint project of UNESCO, the United Nations Environment Program, and the Union of Concerned Scientists, Hyperallergic reported. It is based on site-specific evaluations, technical reports, science papers and input from local experts. It also included an in-depth case study of Venice and the Statue of Liberty.
“One-hundred percent of the assets at Liberty National Monument are at ‘high exposure’ risk from sea-level rise due to the extremely low elevation of the island and its vulnerability to storms,” the report said, according to Travel and Leisure.
“The city’s extraordinary assemblage of Byzantine, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture is under immediate threat from rising sea levels,” it added, referring to Venice, which is being damaged by frequent floods in the area. The report also said that the water level will continue to rise in the lagoon and would be eating away some substance of the buildings around it.
Meanwhile, the Great Barrier Reef was removed from the list of UNESCO, as requested by the Australian government, even if it was "poor and deteriorating" and "assailed by multiple threats," according to The Guardian.
Apart from climate change, one thing that has a huge impact to the sites is tourism especially those that are “uncontrolled or poorly managed visitor access” but it also added that tourism can also help secure the future of some World Heritage sites like Venice.